Rob Vincent dot net

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May 15, 2009

Sugar and life

Rob @ 8:40 PM

Thanks to cutbacks, my day job of three years and seven months ended today.

So, here's some classic Doctor Who. This short but sweet scene from the serial "Remembrance of the Daleks" has been going through my mind a lot lately. It begins with the Doctor entering a cafe, stressing over something he has to do to resolve the story's conflict. The Doctor takes a seat as an affable Jamaican called John appears behind the counter.

John: Can I help you?

The Doctor: A mug of tea, please.

John: (fixing the tea) Cold night tonight.

The Doctor: Yes, it is. Bitter, very bitter... where's Harry?

John: Visiting his missus. She's in hospital.

The Doctor: Of course... (smiling quietly) it'll be twins...

John: Your tea. Sugar?

The Doctor: Ah... a decision. Would it make any difference?

John: It would make your tea sweet!

The Doctor: Yes, but beyond the confines of my taste buds, would it make any difference?

John: Not really.

The Doctor: But -

John: Yeah?

The Doctor: What if I could control people's taste buds? What if I decided that no one would take sugar? That'd make a difference, to those who sell the sugar, and those who cut the cane.

John: My father, he was a cane cutter.

The Doctor: Exactly! Now if no one had used sugar, your father wouldn't have been a cane cutter.

John: If this sugar thing had never started, my great-grandfather wouldn't have been kidnapped, chained up and sold in Kingston in the first place. I'd be a African!

The Doctor: See.. every great decision creates ripples, like a huge boulder dropped in a lake. The ripples merge, rebound off the banks in unforeseeable ways. The heavier the decision... the larger the waves... the more uncertain the consequences.

John: Life's like that. Best thing, is just to get on with it.

That's good advice. Roll on the job hunt!

May 14, 2009

It's worse than that, it's physics, Jim!

Rob @ 11:49 AM

Star Trek was pretty fun. I like how they specifically declared this new Trek an alternate timeline from the original, so those like me who actually dig the later series can have those continue in our own personal canon, and yet started something completely new and interesting in the TOS vein.

And it had a Beastie Boys song in it. Captain Kirk listens to friggen Beastie Boys!! That alone is enough for me to declare it totally infallible canon in my head.

For the devoted classic/Next Gen Trekkies out there, I totally recommend the prequel comic miniseries Star Trek: Countdown. It takes place some years post-Nemesis and features old Spock, Nero, and the Next Gen crew during the events leading up to the whole time travel plot of the film, connecting everything up nicely timeline-wise. To those who don't like what the new film does to canon, you can still dig the comic as the "real" state of the actual Trek timeline which Spock leaves in order to instigate the film's events.

May 12, 2009

More geekery

Rob @ 1:04 PM

I spent yesterday evening at the Doctor Who New York pub meet. It was lots of fun, they're really a great crowd and I'm glad I got the chance to meet up again. There also happened to be a couple of special guests in town; I got to chat with Clayton Hickman and Gareth Roberts for a bit. Nice guys!

A lady at the meet was wearing a t-shirt with two Greek letters on it. Someone asked what it meant, and I didn't know until I read it aloud: "psi phi." I thought that was pretty darned clever.

Tonight Grey and I are going to see an obscure little film about future aliens or something. I wonder if it'll be popular at all.

May 11, 2009

Random moment of fannish glee

Rob @ 2:55 PM

Yesterday, I was mowing my lawn with an electric mower. It overloaded the circuit breaker, so I had to go down into my basement to reset it. The basement light was on the blown circuit, and my breaker box is in the darkest corner at the end of a cramped corridor, so I grabbed the first light-like thing from my shelf - which just happened to be a toy sonic screwdriver. I used its soft glow to illuminate my path and locate the correct breaker.

It wasn't until I flipped the switch and lit up the basement again that I realized; I was in a dark and dusty old corridor, poking around a piece of electrical equipment with my sonic screwdriver in hopes of fixing it, and it worked. I'd even unconsciously extended the sonic bit before using it!

I would say I didn't spend an extra few moments after that gleefully sonic-ing a few random parts of the breaker box before closing it up and getting back to my yardwork, but that would be a damned lie.

(x-posted to doctorwho@LJ)

May 8, 2009

image encoding

Rob @ 2:21 PM

Some photographic images translate especially well, with very little meaningful data loss, into emoticon format.

For example, this one is:

[:-{     {:-V     >:-[

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